His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. -Matthew 5:1
How Jesus Loved People
Jesus loved people by teaching and training them how to follow God. Jesus loved people by making them into His disciples.
How to Love Like Jesus
It was in the wee hours of the morning, at the fire department, when I responded to a house fire along with three engines and a truck company. When we arrived we quickly realized it was the same house that had burned in the wee hours the morning before. We were sure we had put it out completely the first time, yet here we were again.
There was no time to dwell on the cause of our repeat performance, we had a fire to put out. So we set about our business. But as we progressed, I began to hear someone yelling over a loudspeaker. Eventually I figured out it was coming from a car dealership across the street. A man who appeared to be inebriated was yelling obscenities at us. He was bashing the fire department for not putting the fire out completely the first time.
Between the amplified voice of the man screaming obscenities and the flames from the burning house against the black sky, it was like a scene from hell. Within a few minutes three television stations showed up. All three thrust their microphones in my face and said, “What’s going on with the guy on the loud speaker screaming obscenities about the fire department?”
It was a fun night.
It was also a night that changed the way I ran fires. From that point on, anytime I left a fire scene, I gave very careful instructions to the crews I left behind concerning how they were to ensure the fire was out–completely.
The instructions given before a separation are often of a critical nature. Before what was perhaps the most profound separation in history, before Jesus left His disciples and ascended into heaven, He gave these instructions:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” -Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20)
Francis Chan was right when he said we often dance around Christ’s instructions. We might memorize His instructions. We might learn their meaning in the Greek. We have Bible studies to see what it might look like if we did follow Jesus’ instructions. But so often we don’t actually do what He instructed us to do. (see Chan’s video: How Not to Make Disciples)
But Jesus said, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.” -Jesus Christ (Matthew 14:23-24)
I don’t know about you but I want Jesus and the Father to come to me, and make their home with me. So, though I’m not particularly good at it, I’ll make disciples of Christ, as best I can. (see 1 Thessalonians 5:24)
Jesus loved people by discipling them.
You and I can too.
[Image via: MBK (Marjie) Creative Commons]